Undefeated in district, a deep playoff run, and a 12-1 overall record is how the season ended last year for the Nocona Indians.
With just five starters returning, it will be a new-look Nocona team this season.
"It's not the same team as last year, it's different kids," said Head Coach Brad Keck. "There's a few holdovers, but it is the same program. They know what it takes to be successful and what it takes to win."
"We're not the same team," said senior quarterback Caleb Swofford. "We're just gonna build up from last year, use that as our stepstool."
Swofford will transition from inside linebacker to be the team's starting quarterback, replacing Hayden Hill.
Swofford's been the backup for his entire high school career, but this is the first time he will get to take the reins as the head man behind center.
"He's gotten the practice reps, a few game reps," said Coach Keck. "A lot of it will be learning on the run for him and so far, so good; he's really done well with it."
"It hasn't been too difficult," said Swofford. "I've been backup quarterback for my whole high school, so it's kind of just getting back into the routine of everything."
Another key to the Indians' offense this season will be running back John Jennings. He will have some big shoes to fill after the departure of 2,000-yard rusher Tate Fenoglio, but Coach Keck is confident Jennings can thrive in that role this year.
"You can't really replace a Tate Fenoglio," Keck admitted. "But I tell you John is a good one."
"He's a really good running back," agreed Swofford. "He's strong and not afraid of very much."
"It's going to be big shoes to fill," Jennings said. "But I'm more focused on winning the games."
The Indians have never made the playoffs in three consecutive years. That's a goal they have set for themselves this season, and they want to do whatever it takes to get there.
"We're the defending district champions," said Coach Keck. "And we want to protect that gold ball and keep it right here in Nocona."
"We just expect to do whatever it takes," Swofford said. "No matter what happens, we're still going to keep it going and do whatever it takes to win."